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today i spoke to ambassador susan rice and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for secretary of state. while i deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on susan rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. the american people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country. wolf, as you know, susan rice has been caught up in this drama over the benghazi conflict and the deaths of americans in the assault on the u.s. consulate there. while susan rice was not responsible for security of the consulate, she did go on sunday shows and talk about the u.s. response there and she has been accused of deliberately mischaracterizing what happened. all sides -- or the white house has adamantly insisted and she has insisted that she in no way
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deliberately mischaracterized what happened. she was reading from unclassified talking points and nonetheless this has been caught up in a back and forth and, wolf, if i may, i'm going to read from part of her statement, her letter to the president and what she wrote in part, i am now convinced that the confirmation process will be lengthy, disruptive, and costly to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. that tradeoff is simply not worth it to our country. the secretary of state may never be politicized. she says, i look forward to building on progress in your second term which seems to leave the door open to the possibility she could serve in the administration in the second term and according to my sources there has been some talk of ambassador rice serving in the white house in the capacity as a president's director of national
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security. now, that's a position that does not require senate confirmation and so she can possibly enter that role without the kind of conflict that would be involved in a confirmation hearing. this also opens the door for the possibility that senator kerry could get the nod for secretary of state perhaps as early as next week, wolf. >> it does look like john kerry now is certainly the front-runner to be the secretary of state. he's the chairman of the foreign relations committee. there was some speculation he could be the secretary of defense although i think his preference has always been secretary of state. the president needs to put together his new national security team in the coming days in order to get confirmation of all of these individuals in january so they can get going by the time he's sworn in for his second term on january 20th. right now john kerry, if he becomes the nominee to become secretary of state, there's also speculation that chuck hagal
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could be nominated to be secretary of defense. a lot of speculation about the cia director. that position is open right now and a lot of speculation about the secretary of the treasury who has a lot of national responsibilities as well. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, it's my understanding that senator kerry is the odds on favorite to be secretary of state but he has told people that he does not want to be secretary of defense. that's sort of a nonissue right now with susan rice clearing the way so this could allow senator kerry to get the nod for state. senator chuck hagal, as you say, a republican, is the president's odds on favorite to become secretary of defense. gloria borger has been reporting that as well. senator hagal is well-liked by the president. he's seen as a team player and can get things done but does have some challenge and would no
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doubt have some issues in confirmation because pro-israel groups objected to the position that he's taken in the past opposing iran's sanctions in the past, not recognizing hezbollah as a terrorist group. that could create some sticky situations. and then there's a question of cia. the big question is whether john brennan, currently the director of homeland security want that job. it's his if he wants it. the question is, does he? otherwise director morell could get it. the president could perhaps make all of these announcements next week. >> stand by just for a moment. jill dougherty is our state correspondent. it looks potentially like john kerry could be the man that you'll be covering in the weeks and months to come, john kerry, chairman of the foreign relations committee, democratic presidential nominee back in 2004.
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what are you hearing? >> well, obviously now that susan rice is out of the picture, it would be very logical to turn to him. he is well known for international affairs. every type of issue he seems to have a statement ready within seconds. he's a heavyweight. he knows all of the issues. he wouldn't have the difficulty, it would appear, in the senate for being confirmed with that post as susan rice would have. and it also clears the way now for secretary clinton to move on to her next venture because don't forget until that process of guesting somebody in that place was over and now if it's a smoother sailing, then she could leave after the inauguration and that would be a lot easier for her. the other thing on the time, the
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accountability on which susan rice made those comments is going to be coming out and both to the senate and to the house and so there's a lot of tight timing on this but it could be very, very interesting so don't forget what brought her down and next week the accountability review board, the investigative review body that the state department puts together. it would be reporting directly to secretary clinton and then secretary clinton briefs the congress. so we will know a lot more about benghazi presumably next week. >> secretary clinton is scheduled to testify before congress on december 20th and that accountability board led by thomas pickering reviewing what happened. i want everyone to stand by. jill dougherty at the state department, jessica yellin at
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the white house. let's go to dana bash on capitol hill. what are you hearing up there? >> reporter: not a lot of surprise. the fact of the matter is susan rice did not do herself any favors in the meetings which we covered intensely. the meetings that she had with john mccain and lindsey graham but more importantly with people who she mahad meetings with tha were on the fence. instead of answering what the senator thought were mundane questions, she got very defensive and the feelings about susan collins and others, if she can't deal with united states senators who are kind of fellow americans, so to speak, how is she going to be on the world stage when she's dealing with some of the world's foes. so that was a big concern here. it certainly was political as well.
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that was a big concern from those senators who were not as political. there's a lot of respect for her. people think that she's very, very smart, that she knows the issues. there is some concern, not just from republicans but also democrats i've talked to about her personality, whether she had the personality to be the secretary of state and to represent the u.s. on the world stage. >> those statements, i take it, from either senator mccain, lindsey graham or ayotte? >> reporter: senator graham told me especially there was no way he was going to let her nomination go forward. as you just heard, the president made a point of noting that he he was very unhappy with what he called the distortions of susan rice, particularly with her record of benghazi.
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it's important to note that benghazi was the flash point that might have taken her nomination down before it even started but it was beyond that. it was also just the feeling that she was too political and may be better to be the national security adviser as jessica just reported because it's more political and she doesn't need senate confirmation. >> everyone stand by. gloria borger is here in "the situation room" watching what is going on as well. we were bracing for an announcement of the new national security team next week. we didn't know if the president was going to dig down and fight aggressively for susan rice by writing this letter to the president, she has withdrawn her name? >> i've just spoke with a source close to the white house since this news had been revealed and he was not really surprised, wolf. like dana was reporting from capitol hill, senators there not very much surprised because the sense was the longer that the nominations held out there, the potential for the nomination
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hung out there, the more difficult the white house realized what they had. so i think that this one source said to me, look, they underestimated the importance of the club and also really came to understand the difficulty that she had when she went up to those senators on the hill, as dana was talking about, particularly susan collins, who would have been a natural ally and, instead, came out of that session with more questions than answers. >> considerwe just got a statem from senator mccain. senator mccain thanks ambassador rice for her service to the country and wishes her well. he will continue to seek all of the facts surrounding the attack on or consulate in the benghazi that killed four brave americans. a short statement from senator mccain. basically, i assume, he's fairly
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relieved that this is over with and if john kerry is the nominee, i think there's no doubt he will support john kerry's nomination. >> that's right. i don't think anyone would want to know john mccain single handedly brought down susan rice. because i think there were lots of senators as they made their visits to the hill and also some democrats who had questions about benghazi. no doubt john mccain would have led the charge. but i don't think the president would have been swayed one way or another by a single senator but clearly john mccain will support john kerry if he's supported and that seems more and more likely to be the case. >> yesterday you reported that chuck hagal, the former nebraska governor was emerges as a front-runner to be the next secretary of defense. what are you hearing today in. >> i think it's still the case and probably more so at this point. we know that chuck hagal, a
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republican, has met with the president, has met with the vice president. this doesn't mean that it's going to be easy for chuck hagal, wolf. he believes in soft power. he didn't early on in the 2000s believe in iranian sanctions. this is someone who has continued to be involved in foreign policy. somebody well respected inside the administration. remember, he crossed party lines, wolf, to support barack obama when he first ran for the presidency in the 2008 campaign. >> let me read the statement that lindsey graham just released. i'll put it up on the screen. i respect ambassador rice's decision. president obama has many tal
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leblted people to choose from for our next secretary of state. i'm determined to find out what happened in benghazi before, during, and after the attack. unfortunately, they are stone walling when it comes to relevant information. i find this unacceptable. lindsey graham adds, it is a security failure and we must never have it happen again. we've now heard from senator mccain, we've now heard from lindsey graham. we'll be hearing from many more. >> and the question on benghazi might also affect the question of who leads the cia, for example. i know jessica was talking about that earlier because the question is whether the deputy director becomes tarnished because of the cia role in benghazi or not disclosing information on what it actually occurred. >> he's got to put together a national security team being secretary of state, defendants, secretary of treasury. he's got to get a new cia director. maybe he'll want to get a new security adviser. tom donolan wants to do
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something different. stand by, gloria, for that. we're getting new information on why susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations made this decision. stand by. [ female announcer ] one drop of ultra dawn has twice the everyday grease cleaning ingredients of one drop of the leading non-concentrated brand... to clean 2x more greasy dishes. dawn does more. so it's not a chore. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h for delivery in time for the holidays. you can even give us special instructions on where to find it. free package pickup. from the u.s. postal service. because it's nice to have an extra pair of hands around for the holidays.
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susan rice, the united states ambassador to the united nations has asked obama to no longer consider her as a possible secretary of state to replace hillary clinton who admitted that she wants out at the end of this first term. the president issued a letter in return saying that he's reluctant reluctantly accepted her decision. you're getting more information on why she made this decision and announced it today. elise, what do you hear? >> that's right. i just spoke to someone familiar
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with her situation and basically it's a lot of what she said in the letter. she felt like this whole campaign against her really unprecedented in its scope for a nominee of secretary of state was a manufactured distraction and what this person told me is ambassador rice has a lot of honor, a lot of dignity and patriotism and she was determined to put her country first. this person -- wolf, i've been speaking to ambassador rice's aides, people that have worked with her at the u.n. over the last couple of weeks and months since this happened and they feel as if this distraction, this campaign against her has really taken away from a lot of the important work that ambassador rice has done at the united nations, such as getting very tough sanctions on iran and also helping defend israel from attack and what this person and
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others have said to me over the past few weeks is no matter what secretary rice -- excuse me, wolf. ambassador rice has a long future ahead of her. obviously very close to the president, a trusted member of his national security adviser and this person told me again today, was very unequivocal and firm in his support for her and he said that he continues to rely on her close counsel, wolf. >> a very strong statement he made, don't go after her, go after me if you want to go after anyone. he has reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw her name for secretary of state. mike rogers is the congressman from michigan, the chairman of the house intelligence committee. let's get your immediate reaction to the breaking news. what do you think about this,
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congressman? and ambassador rice was facing an uphill battle in the senate for any confirmation and i think it may have distracted from north korea and the issues going on there and chemical weapons and opposition that we don't fully understand. we have a growing al qaeda attack. when you look at all of the challenges that the secretary of state is going to face, this would have been distracting from those issues because i think there are a lot of senators who were concerned about her statements and her positions when it came to the benghazi aftermath. >> as chairman of the intelligence committee, are you confident you now know everything you need to know about what happened in benghazi? >> i think we're getting a better picture every day. we had another closed hearing to
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try to see days after benghazi and it's going to take some time to go through all of the information. i feel very strongly, wolf, that it was a gross negligence when it came to the physical security of the ambassador at the mission there in benghazi. that was very clear to me. some very, very bad decisions were made and i think contributed to the death of the ambassador and three other great americans. so that part i think is taking great shape. i think the intelligence part is coming together. it sounds to me or looks to me when i review everything, it looked pretty good leading into the day and the days after. i think it's clear that there was some political interpretation of the intelligence and the day after. we still have more questions. the investigation is still under way by the fbi and now we need to focus on what we were trying to do today, wolf, is focus on getting the people responsible and holding them accountable for their actions that killed and took the life of four americans.
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>> you're talking about the al qaeda affiliate organizations that may have been responsible for these four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. when you say there was gross negligence, that suggests that they should have had better security for the colleagues and they were negligent. do we know who these individuals that were negligent are? >> that picture is clearer today than it was a short time ago. >> can you tell us who they are? >> i think it's best to wait until all of the details are assembled and a report will be issued. but i will tell you, wolf, when you look at all of the information, information leading up on the day and the days after, it was very, very clear that there was a serious security threat there in the state department did not make the right decisions to secure the ambassador himself and there's all kinds of evidence of all sorts leading up to that conclusion. again, there will be a report
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soon. i think, again, on the ambassador rice thing, all of that would have been rehashed in the senate and is not helpful to the real issues that we're facing today which is north korea, syria, growing al qaeda and libya, all of those issues. >> well, let's get to syria for a moment while i have you. how secure are those chemical warfare stockpiles in syria now? do you believe that president bashar al assad will use chemical warfare against his own people? >> well, his father -- at least there's lots of reporting that his father did in fact use chemical weapons or something very close to it in his suppression of the population. we know that he has made it available, meaning that in some of these chemical weapons there are certain procedures you have to go through to make them a viable weapon. i believe that that's happened. i believe that they are available for use at a very short in the. now, the desperation of dictator
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facing his ending days of his regime who was, i believe, has made these chemical weapons out of the stockpile available for use. i don't know and we know his father used it. it would be irresponsible, i think, of the international community to lead in and say, we don't think he's going to use them. the modeling on this, wolf, is not good. it could be hundred and thousands dead, millions who would be impacted by it and refugee problems all across the middle east that would be staggering and destabilizing to that whole region of the world. this is as serious as it gets and this is not a decision i argue that we should get wrong. we need to come together very soon and we have unique capabilities to intervene in the use of these chemical weapons and if we have that level of confidence that he is in that position, we need to take serious consideration of maybe doing that. >> you know, you think about the
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use of chemical weapons. i assume when you're talking about when his father slaughtered about 20,000 syrians in the town of hamaa in the early '80s. >> there are mixed reports and there has been forensic issues taken there that would lead one to believe that chemical weapons could have been used. and i'll tell you one thing, in the middle east, ourly ly ace son partners think that it was. and now you have his son who certainly grew up with all of that. in addition to the fact, wolf, he's taking an affirmative action to put those weapons available for use. those are all very concerning steps and i think we've got to be prudent about making sure we don't have a catastrophic
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humanitarian crisis with the use of these weapons. i worry about what that means for humanity in general, let alone the people of syria who would be killed and maimed in a horrific way and then all of the refugees and the problems that would cause an instability in that region is as serious of a problem that i can imagine. >> we're out of time, congressman. one final question. looking back now at 2007, the nuclear reactor that syria was building for them, imagine what the situation in syria would be like if there were weapons involved in what is going on, have you considered that situation when you look at what the israelis did what they did? >> we look at that with iran, north korea, syria, you have these despodic regimes and it's
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terrifying to think that iran could get that capability and iraq almost got that capability. it's concerning. it's why guys like me stay awake a lot of nights trying to figure out how to work our way through these issues. they could cause huge hum humanitarian crisis with their use. >> congressman, thank you very much for joining us, as usual. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> we're going to continue the breaking news right after this. susan rice has written to the president saying she no longer wants to be considered as secretary of state. the president has accepted her decision. much more coming up on the breaking news right after this. questions?
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we're continuing to follow the breaking news about susan rice who has withdrawn her name for consideration of hillary clinton's successor. she says the best course is to let the president select someone else. let's bring in our strategy session, joining us, cnn contributor, donna brazil, the former bush white house speechwriter, david frohm. what did you think when you heard that susan rice was pulling herself out of consideration? >> i was surprised. this seems to be the person he most wanted to have.
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he got pushed back from it. i don't think others would have yield the the way president obama has yielded. >> i agree with everything what david just said. i got a call from roland martin and told me that she stepped down. i've been in washington for 30 years. i understand the attack game. but she was attacked for her qualifications and she was bludgeoned over benghazi before we have any information that's going to come from ambassador pickerring. i thought it was unfair and mean spirited. this is the old boys network. you can tell i don't like it. susan is more than qualified to hold the position. i wish the president would have gone forward and women like myself and perhaps some good men like david would have found
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reasons to support her. i understand there's a partisan issue with this but this is a very well qualified woman and she should have had the job. >> so you're saying he should have fought for her? >> absolutely. >> does this mean that the benghazi story is something that he wants to put away, so embarrassing that he wants to put to bed? maybe there is some kind of understanding that if she steps off the stage, she books the blood sacrifice and guess to some other job, now there are fewer questions asked because something went terribly wrong. four people are dead and -- >> you heard mike rogers say flatly there was, quote, gross negligence by u.s. officials in not protecting ambassador
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stevens and the three other americans who were killed in benghazi. we're going to get ambassador pickering's report on all of this. so presumably we will know who was responsible for what mike rogers calls gross negligence. >> absolutely. and the congress should put themselves on the agenda. susan rice went out there in september and then all of a sudden after the president she was viciously attacked by senator mccain. you know, i've always said good things about mccain. he's a man of honor. but the way he went after susan, it's personal and gratuitous. i don't understand all of the politics and i don't even want to understand all of the politicians. but she's done so much, i'm going to write about it, i'm going to tweet about her tenure and i hope the president finds some place in his cabinet and administration so susan rice can continue to -- >> maybe she should have said
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something different on those five sunday talk shows. you can't blame susan rice for gross negligence with these diplomats that were killed. >> the drama of the senate moments is they want a resignation. they've got one. in effect they've got one. and now whoever it was is breathing a sigh of relief. >> she's a good soldier for doing this. she tries to make it easy for the president. i rarely see you as angry and disappointed as you are right now. >> let me be honest. i'm not just disappointed that president obama didn't go forward. he accepted her resignation not to put her name forward. i can understand he doesn't want to refight these battles and he said he's very sad, he regretted the kind of partisanship. that said, wolf, you know this city. they had the knives out for
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susan, a whole bunch of people. this is an old boys network. this is how it operates. they don't want women to continue to step up the ladder. this is what they do. all i'm saying is that susan is a very bright, successful woman and the way she was attacked, be david, they attacked her kwaul if i kags, they attacked her background. >> we haven't had a white men as secretary of state in, what, eight years? >> i didn't say race. i said sectionism. you understand that's a difference? >> i don't think that's what's going on. what is going on, there is a need for benghazi politics. there's the president's need to protect other people in his administration who maybe he cares about more. now, the next chapter is this. if the president goes ahead with nominating chuck hagel as secretary of defense, how will senator mccain feel that he's chosen a former republican senate of john mccain who did
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not support john mccain for the presidency. >> ambassador rice is very smart, tough, she's handled so many tough issues. the israelis north korea, the situation in syria. i mean, africa. >> she could stay on as the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. she doesn't have to go through confirmation like that again. >> they have tried to tarnish her reputation. i knew her father. she's a hardworking and vd good person. >> how would you feel if for some reason, tom donolan moves on to something else and there's rumors he might want to do something else, the president names susan rice as his national security adviser? she doesn't need senate confirmation for that? >> look, i hope he will find a place for her at the table because she deserves to have a seat at the table. >> donna, not missing words. >> and i came in today. i wasn't supposed to but i came
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in. >> thank you. very proud of you. >> proud of you, david. >> very proud of susan rice. >> she's a very good lady. guys, thanks very much. we're going to continue the breaking news. much more right after this. 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. if by blessed you mean freaked out about money well we suddenly noticed that everything was getting more expensive so we switched to the bargain detergent but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey yeah you suck at folding [ laughs ]
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come into red lobster and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99. we're only 19 days away from the so-called fiscal cliff. john boehner and president obama are expected to meet at the white house any minute now. let's bring in dana bash. what are you learning? >> reporter: the president is probably on his way to have this meeting with the president that we heard about this afternoon. that's certainly true if you talk to former leaders like i did today on both sides of the aisle. tom daschle and trent lott who hashed out deals like this one. they said, this is exactly what
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needs to happen. talk: i used to stand outside in the hall and it was a question of when would the deal happen and now it's will they get a deal. what's changed? >> news media is more omnipresent. all of the new social media, traveling back and forth and different personal see teas. tom and i had our differences. not everything was just perfect. >> i was there. i know it wasn't. >> it wasn't perfect. >> and i still am convinced and hopeful, at least, that they are going to come to an agreement. there's an argument that you don't want to make it too early because that gives people not too happy with it more time to undermine it. so the tempo and timing is important. >> we were crisis-driven.
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we had the impeachment and then 9/11 and then the attack on the amtrack. it's time to bring it together and bring caucuses and provide some direction in which you don't really have today. >> reporter: but isn't this a crisis, getting ready to go off a fiscal cliff that every economist right and left says the country will be brought back to and session? >> it could be but we're not there yet. >> reporter: you all had a hotline. told me about that. >> we both decided there were going to be times that we needed to call each other immediately and not go through staff and it was so urgent when that phone ra rang, we knew we had to take it right away. i never got a busy signal when i called. >> we used it the morning of 9/11. >> reporter: did you really?
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>> i said, hey, tom, we better get out of here. >> and the anthrax attacks, too. >> and staff didn't like it when we would talk. sometimes i would get up from my desk and go into the back door of tom's office and we would talk. i mean, it's a little thing but sometimes for leaders, well, i don't want to do that. it looks like i'm conceding to him. >> we would also have these balance c balcony moments. >> reporter: kind of like this. >> exactly. >> reporter: do you think republicans should just understand or add mit that they are going to have to raise rates for americans? >> there will come a moment when the speaker is going to have to make a decision on that and they need to do it in concert. it's like you've got to have the
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winds and the brass come together. >> reporter: hold hands and jump off the cliff together? >> it would be more fun on the way down. at least you have company. >> gives new meaning to another cliff. >> reporter: and wolf, senator lott thinks fellow republicans are going to have to give on giving rates and senator daschle says his party is going to have to give on cutting entitlements. i'm told by a democratic source that he has some kind of offer or counteroffer to give to the speaker and it likely has something to do with more specificities that the speaker has been demanding. they've been very, very careful not to give too many details. we can cross our fingers that they make progress. >> let's see if there is a
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breakthrough during this meeting that is going to take place. we have everyone watching the speaker of the house go in, go out, see if he says anything afterwards. dana, thank you. we're also continuing to watch the breaking news here in washington. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n., susan rice, withdrawing her name for secretary of state. if obama chooses senator john kerry to secede hillary clinton. we're going to talk about his chance of getting confirmed. plus, identity theft victims know how much it can cost someone. but a cyber attack to sta start withdrawing money from your bank accounts.
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some of the most prominent banks may be the targets of a master cybersecurity threat aimed at draining money out of people's accounts. what is going on? everybody's got money in the bank. >> many of us do online banking. prominent cyber security firm says this attack is being planned and has already been tested out. it's likely coming from eastern europe and has the project blitz free is being led by a mysterious russian attacker and many targeted may not even realize it. >> you're someone with a substantial amount of money in your account. you logon one day and have a smaller amount than before but you've been hacked. that could happen to thousands of americans this coming spring.
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a new report says some of america's biggest banks, 30 of them, are at risk of a master cyber attack that could siphon millions of dollars from unsuspecting customers. >> we've found to date 3 and 500 devices that have been infected within the u.s. pat calhoon mcafee won't name the individual bank but account holders in many of the large mainstream banks are targeted. mcafee says this attack is from a cyber gag with a handle. >> he's trying to build attackers to expand the scope of the project. so that's the first thing. but how it's actually executed in the project itself is that he has computers that are basically monitoring and controlling all of these infected devices.
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>> calhoon says the attackers are going after individuals who have a lot of money, are limiting the number of targets, and are only planning to take fractions of cash from each account so the account holders and banks themselves will not notice at first. how do they get in? they start with a phishing scam, click on the attachment and the mallware afekts your computer or downloaded by a malicious website. then it's controlled by servers. the hackers can monitor the account, including the passwords. then they access the money and transfer it out. are you on the hook for the amount stolen? >> if you monitor your account, keep in close touch with your bank. >> because you've alerted the bank that, as we've suggested, that the transaction was unauthorized. essentially the bank will reimburse you after they've investigated that and confirmed
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that. >> but for some it's already too late. the attacks have already started on u.s. targets, calhoon says, have been carried out sp sporadically and some $5 million has been stolen from some victims. but the major attack is expected next spring, wolf. >> that's pretty terrifying. thank you very much. we're going to get back to the breaking news this hour. susan rice withdrawing her name for consideration of the next secretary of state. what could this mean for her future, for the president and his democratic base out there? many of whom -- you just saw donna brazile there, deeply disappointed in the president right now.
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you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama and house speaker john boehner are getting ready to meet any minute now at the white house. we're going there for the very latest. also, with susan rice taking her name out of the mix for secretary of state, will senator john kerry be the next secretary of state? and this -- syrian teenager braves a barrage of gunfire in an attempt to save a woman hit by snipers. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." let's get first to a meeting that is about to happen at the
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white house. a critically important meeting between the president of the united states and speaker of the house of representatives. this is the first face-to-face meeting the two men have had since sunday. at issue, whether or not the united states will go over the so called fiscal cliff at the end of this month. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellen is at the white house. set the scene for us, jessica. there's a lot at stake. what is going to happen? >> reporter: there is an enormous amount at stake as we enter the 11th hour. an suv pulling into the white house, a series of suvs pulling into west exec. who knows if that is speaker boehner himself. he will be meeting with the president in the oval office. both sides looking to see if the two men can find a way to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. from the white house's
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perspective, what they are looking for is if there's any way, no doubt, for the speaker to budge on, from their point of view, rates. they still want to know if the speaker can give at all on rates. from the speaker's perspective, they are looking for spending cuts from the white house. the white house was far more aggressive from jay carney in the briefing about the speaker, about the gop position, insisting that republicans just haven't been giving enough and that they have been too vague overall. this was jay carney at the briefing earlier today, wolf. >> let me just say that while i personally am very fond of john boehner, his record of predicting what would happen if certain economic policies weren't instituted is a dismal. >> a different kind of attitude
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from the white house suggesting that as both sides are facing stalemate, they are positioning for a pr battle if the nation should go over the cliff, wolf. >> the neating is potentially, if it ends positively, do we assume that boehner would stay in washington over the weekend and continue these noish egotia with the president? earlier there was some speculation -- he was ready to pack his bags and get out of town. >> well, they have said that they have cell phones and -- >> here is john boehner right now. as you said, they were executive boulevard over there right next to the white house between the old executive office building and the west wing and we just saw him walking in. so we do now know -- sorry to interrupt you -- that your speculation was accurate. he's now in the west wing. >> reporter: and i point out, i believe at their last meeting, it was a one on one meeting, the president and the speaker, no staff in the room. perhaps they will be doing a
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repeat of a man to man sit down, just the two of them. i won't know until later. but the president and the speaker have a history. there's been tension after the debt talks but they also have a rapport. so they are facing a lot of pressure. both men know they have to make a deal. someone said by tomorrow if they are going to get this done with enough time to get through both oh houses of congress before year's end. so maybe that pressure at the very last minute will force them to get this deal done tonight, wolf, or take steps in that direction. >> let's hope they do. one specific issue, how much additional tax revenue do they need over the next ten years? president originally wanted 1.6 trillion. he's now down to 1.4 trillion. boehner says $800 billion. in the olden days they would just split the different at 1.2 trillion, come up with some number in between. is that likely this time?
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>> well, that's the number that has been banting around. it does seem like an obvious ending point for the president on revenue. but the speaker is looking, don't forget, for a different number on cuts. what will the president do on spending cuts. and today senator daughter bin said thdurbin would not be ableo increase the retirement age from medicare and that was something of a blow for the gop. they were surprised to hear that. the white house in the briefing said that's not true. that's not a position the white house has ado. so different sides on that position. probably speaker boehner will want to hear what the president has to say on that, wolf. >> thanksery much. stay on top of i and let us know when you hear from speaker
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boehner. the other top story we're following right now, the bombshell announcement a little while ago that susan rice is withdrawing her name fromming consers secretary of state. does that mean that john kerry will be hillary clinton's successor? it's not worth the political hassle, i'm withdrawing my name. the president accepted that decision. so does this mean that john kerry will be the president's nominee? >> reporter: it's hard to imagine that that is not what this means, wolf. he has not been very shy -- not recently but before that, that this is is the job that he wants. he want to be secretary of state. he worked very hard for the president during the campaign. he actually played his opponent, mitt romney, in debate prep.
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he's been lobbying for this job in various ways for a long time. also, he is a senator. he is a member of the club that is supposed to confirm -- has to confirm this position, has to vote on it. and already the top republican -- remember, he's a democrat. mitch mcconnell said that kerry would be a popular choice with the senate. as the controversy has brewed over the past couple of weeks over susan rice, her chief opponents have also publicly been saying that they want john kerry, that they think he's the most qualified. if he is nominated, it's very safe to say that he will sale through the senate unless something unbelievable comes up that we don't know about. he's been pretty vetted since the is the senate of the chairman
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committee. it's been awkward really sort of the atmosphere because everybody has been saying, will she get the votes, what happened in benghazi? meanwhile, we've had to ask him a couple of times what he thinks and it's very awkward for him and so that is over and perhaps he is going to get some good news. >> if john kerry does get the president's nod to be nominated, it opens up his seat in the state of massachusetts and there is politics involved. explain what is going on because some democrats are concerned. >> reporter: that's right. the fact that ted barrett said mitch mcconnell would be happy to vote for john kerry as secretary of state, sure, he believes he is qualified but there is definitely a number two reason that that would be the case. it would open up his seat and scott brown was just defeated by l
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elizabeth warren and that would put him in place to have a run against whatever democrat would want to run as well. on the democratic side, i understand that he had he had markey, currently the congressman from massachusetts, he has been there for decades. seriously considering to go for the senate where even if he won he would be the low man on the totem pole. the picture for the republicans, it puts another senate seat in play and every senate seat matters where republicans actually lost seats this year. >> that would be a lively race for the united states senate in the state of massachusetts. all right. dana, let us know what is going on. thank very much. so what does all of this mean for president obama's next cabinet? our own gloria borger and ron bernstein are standing by live. also, in syria's deadly civil war, sometimes there are dramatic moments captured on
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video that are hard to believe. we're going to go to one of the country's sniper allies. arwa damon has an exclusive report. ults in 28 days. guaranteed or your money back. olay pro-x. [ male announcer ] with a select terrain dial that adjusts the jeep grand cherokee's performance for specific weather and road conditions... ♪ ...even heavy snowstorms... won't keep you from getting to work. our apologies. ♪
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all right. let's discuss the breaking news right now with gloria borger and the breaking news obviously that we've been following. susan rice no longer being considered as a possible secretary of state but john kerry, the senator for massachusetts, by all accounts he's being considered for that job. we know he wants it. we'll see if the president nominates him. he issued a statement a few minutes ago. let me read it for you and our viewers. i've known susan rice in my own campaign for president. i know her character and i know her commitment. she's an extraordinarily capable and dedicated public servant. today's announcement doesn't change any of that. we should all be grateful that
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she will be contribute at the highest level. i understand on a personal level how difficult politics can be, i felt for her through the last couple of weeks but i know she will continue to serve for great passion. a nice statement from john kerry. i assume, by all account, until there's something we don't know, he's going to be nominated for secretary of state. >> yes, i think he will. what is interesting about john kerry is he has been out there publicly defending susan rice, saying that she would be a terrific secretary of state even as everyone knew that it's a job that he's coveted forever but being a statesman and someone who is a team player and someone who knows, likes susan rice, he went out of his way on capitol hill to defend her should she be nominated for that job. >> do you have any idea what is is going to happen for nomination as far as secretary of state is concerned?
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>> there hasn't been anyone else discussed. susan rice -- the main opposition was from the right but a little bit of drumbeat on the left from her record in africa that was an interesting development towards all of this. all of the signs are that senator kerry could sale through the one concern has been, can you hold his seat in a special election without that boost you get in massachusetts. >> yeah. >> a political sidebar. if the president goes ahead and has a new national security team which consists -- and i'm just throwing out some names, john kerry, secretary of state, chuck hagel, secretary of defendants, jack lu, the secretary of the treasury, cia director, john brennan, counterterrorism, a bunch of guys. >> and eric holder. >> eric holder stays on as attorney general. >> does it make any sense that we don't have a woman in that
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mix? >> i think it does internally at the white house and i think that it's an issue that they are clearly considering somebody else who has been recommended. we've all been told that chuck hag gal is the front-runner. there is michelle who was a high-ranking official in the defense department who has been on this list. >> she was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. >> exactly. and she wasn't the defense department before then. her name could potentially rise. i've been told that hagel has met with the president, the vice president and he's a a favorite of the vice presidents for that job. >> and a solid guy. >> and a solid guy. >> you think that's a problem? >> i think one thing that is going to come out of this, again, it's going to be a drumbeat, more liberal coalition about sheila bair as secretary
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treasury and house democratic caucus for the first time ever is going to be a majority of women and minorities and to have a cabinet that is completely that is difficult or not completely difficult. >> there are cabinet positions and names that have been mentioned is christine greg goir possibly for transportation, maybe jennifer granholm. >> there are names. >> and treasury also. >> national security, international economics and world trade, that's a big deal. >> yes and that's a real problem for them. >> did you see how angry donna brazil was? she feels letdown that others didn't fight for susan rice.
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>> his initial instinct was to fight. that was a combative press conference that he did. the optics of a republican party having trouble with minorities in 2012, mobilizing to stop an african-american woman appointed as secretary of state may not have been easy for the republicans to pursue. >> as far as the president is concerned, alienating a lot of his base right now who are disappointed? and you heard donna brazile make the case that they are disappointed and in effect he threw her under the bus. >> it's hard to say that unless we start reporting this and pealing the layers of the onion whether we discover in fact it was susan rice who said you know what, mr. president, i want to withdraw because i don't want to go through this with my family and i don't want you to have to go through this. whether she in fact did that, the president clearly accepted it. but we have to sort of report that story out about which part
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with a degree in the field of counseling or psychology from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to make a difference in the lives of others. let's get started at capella.edu the video is wrenching and something you'll see only here on cnn. a daring attempt to save a woman taken down in a rerentless round of sniper fire. the tape was given to arwa damon while she was inside aleppo. >> a fighter slithers across the street. his body hugging the cold pavement. yards away, a woman lies motionless. she's been shot by a sniper. her rescuer is not a relative nor a neighbor. he's never met her.
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he is just 17. he knew he had to save the woman or die trying. when we met him later he tells us -- we had a feeling that she was still alive. we wanted to save her to get her to a hospital. as he crawled closer, he can see her hand, her fingers shaking. cover him. cover him, someone shouts. other fighters lay down cover fire. he quickly ties the hose to her legs but he's unable to retreat. i said to myself, if i die, it's god's will that i die next to
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this woman, he tells us. finally he makes a run for it and the rebels drag the woman back. the woman and her son were walking right down the street there. rebel fighters shouted at them to stay away but it was too late. aleppo is crisscrossed with similar alleys. despite his effort, the woman dies. her son utterly distraught.
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[ crying ] >> reporter: don't die now, don't die today, he pleads. answer me, answer me. she's not dead. she's not dead, he says, as he collapses. he's left wondering whether her life could have been saved if he had reached her sooner. until recently, he worked at a bakery. now, like thousands of young syrians, he puts his life on the line. i am not a hero. i am just like anyone else, he tells us. and we're left to wonder how many similar acts of courage go unrecorded every day in syria and how many innocence are lost. arwa damon, cnn, aleppo. >> arwa has been one of the few western journalists to get inside the syrian war gloen zone. she has brought us these
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extraordinary reports. she is now out of syria. she is safe. she got out the past day or so but her reporting has been amazing. up next, more on today's breaking news. the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice will not be the next secretary of state after all. senator majority leader george mitchell joins me. >> my mom wanted me to be able to play and i hated it because the teacher wouldn't let me play anything interesting. i got bored and quit and didn't touch it for 20 years. and then i heard this piece on the radio and i thought it was impossible for a human to play that. i couldn't imagine being able to move my hands that fast. and i got obsessed with it. it's the third movement of the
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and joining us now, the former senate majority of the special middle east enjoy, george mitchell. you heard, senator, that susan
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rice has written to the president to withdraw her name as the next secretary of state seceding hillary clinton. the president has accepted that decision. what do you make of this? >> well, i think under the circumstances, it's the right decision for her and the president. she's an outstanding public servant and i think she would have done a fantastic job. but in view of all of the controversy that's erupted in the past few weeks, i think she is concluded that it's become a distract, not just to her personally but to the president and his administration. i respect her. i think she's served her nation well and i think she will do so again. she's a young woman and extremely smart and i'm sure the president has accepted it with deep regret but under the circumstances it appears to be the right decision. >> certainly paves the way for senator john kerry to be the neck secretary of state. what do you think of that?
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>> well, i have a high regard for john. i served with him for many years in the senate. if nominated and confirmed, he would be an outstanding secretary of state. he's served with great distinction with the president. i think john has contacts all around the world. he's well known and will, i think, do an effective job if nominated and confirmed. >> and chuck hagel is widely reported to be the front-runner to be the next secretary of stat defense. what do you think of that possibility? >> i think it's a good choice if the president in fact decides upon it. i did serve with chuck. i know leon panetta extremely well having served many, many years with him. he's done a good job in every
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task he's undertake enparticularly as head of defense and head of the cia. he has vast foreign policy experience and knows all of the issues. i think it would be useful as president clinton did to have a republican in the cabinet and particularly one in such a very important and prominent position. now, i don't know if a decision has been made on that and obviously there are many other able potential candidates so i don't try to prejudge that issue. >> let's talk about syria. i know that you visited there. you met with the president bashar al assad when you were the president's special middle east envoy. you know him to a certain degree. do you think he's going to potentially end up like gadhafi or at some point do you think he sees the handwriting on the wall and gets out of syria? >> well, i don't know what he will do but i hope he will see the handwriting on the wall. there's no possibility, in my
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judgment, that he can remain and his government can remain in that position. it's been brutal the way that they are dealt with. there are over 40,000 syrians killed in this terrible conflict and he faces a very tough future, whatever he does. but the longer he stays on, the longer the killing goes on and the greater the hostility and animosity among all of the people of syria. this is going to be a tremendously difficult trans significant, wolf. you know the area very well. people think that the fighting may stop the day he leaves but i think as some reason to believe that some fighting will continue as the struggle for control will just move from one scenario to another. so for his sake he would be best to leave while he can because he if he doesn't he will face the same kind of fate that others in similar situations have faced. it not just him but his family, members of his clan, members of the sect. it's a very difficult and
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complicated situation and the best thing for him and for everyone would be to leave as soon as possible. >> we've got to wrap it up. a quick question. do you think he's desperate enough to actually use chemical warfare against his own people? >> i doubt that. i think he knows what that would produce. it would produce an instantaneous national reaction led by the united states as president obama has made clear. that would be really ceiling his doom in a very clear way and it would be a horrific act. the notion of poisoning your own people, i think, is something that is repulsive to everyone. my hope is that he'll see the light and leave as soon as possible. >> senator mitchell, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. we're also getting more reaction to ambassador susan rice's withdrawl as secretary of state. kelly ayotte just released a
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statement. i respect susan rice's decision and appreciate her decision however my concerns are deeply troubled by the continued lack of information from the white house and the state department. that coming in from kelly ayotte. up next, software giant john mcafee, did he really suffer a heart attack? the surprising admission he has now made to cnn's cameras. that's next. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records
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america tech giant john mcafee is back here in the united states after a bizarre he is ska pap that started in
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belize and continued in guatemala all because the police wanted to question him about his neighbor's death. some pretty outrageous claims are going on. update our viewers. this is becoming more bizarre each day. >> reporter: yes, it does. he's staying behind me at the beacon hotel. he said this has nothing to do with the murder of gregory fall, that this all has to do with the belize government to basically frame him because, he says, for seven month he has been speaking out against corruption in belize and because of his speaking out and because they were trying to get him, he says, that's why he fled belize illy entered guatemala, applied for political asylum. he was turned down. and because, he says, he feared
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that they would try to get him back to belize, that's when he admitted to me during an interview this morning that he faked his heart attack that landed him in a hospital in guatemala. here's what he said. >> that heart issue, was that a -- >> of course it was a rouse. what happened? because as soon as i got to belize the prime minister said we want him back here. if nothing happened, i would have been returned at that moment. unfortunately, i had a heart attack and then i got well. >> reporter: by faking his heart attack, it gave his attorney to file enough appeals that the gaut maul len governments said we're going to be stuck with this guy going through these appeals and at that point they said enough. we're sending you back to the
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united states. and that's when they deported him. wolf? >> now, you had a chance to sit down with him for about an hour. there were no cameras, i take it, inside the room. give us your sense, give us your impression. what is this man like? >> reporter: well, you know, a lot of what he says is absolutely true. in fact, he told us this one story about how back in april the military authorities in belize raided his place, killed his dog, and they tried to accuse him of having a meth lab in his house. they put him in handcuffs and then released him and no charges were filed. but he says this was intimidation tactics in order to -- because he would not pay a $2 million bribe to an official there. now, the fact is, they did raid his house. i talked to authorities in belize today. they said, yes, that raid was carried out because we had information, they said, that he had weapons and drugs. they did not find any, they admitted, and that he was then let go.
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of course, they also denied anything about any of this bribe that someone wanted to get a bribe out of him down there. i believe, wolf, that he firmly believes everything that he tells you. how much real truth there is to some of this, that's another story. now, he is absolutely vehement in his belief that they are out to get him down there and that he will not go back there unless he's forced to go back there. >> john zarrella reporting live from miami beach. thank you. it's one of the most frustrating parts of watching your favorite shows on television. but guess what, it has now been banned as of midnight ahead. the new law about commercials. you're going to want to know what is going on. this is america.
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if you had the means to take a closer look at your genetic makeup, would you want to know the risks that you and your children would face even if there were no cure? the mapping of the human genome and now the cost for an individual's whole-genome sequencing is $7500 and falling fast. one day the pregnant tea tests at the drugstore. joining me now in "the situation room," an article you wrote in the cover of "time" magazine, thanks for joining us. walk us through, what would this test show? >> well, this test pretty much shows anything that researchers
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and scientists currently know about genetic makeup. it can show risks for alzheimer's, risks for parkinson's, kind of the whole thing wide open so it can be treated and really scary. >> so in 20, 30 years you're going to come down with an incurable disease and that's going to affect your lifestyle over these years, obviously if there's something in there that you should deal with, change your lifestyle, exercise, eat better that could affect the outcome, you'd want to know that. but there's a dilemma here, isn't there? >> there's a real little democra dilemma. part of what we know today is -- researchers are coming out with new gene discoveries.
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if there's no treatment today, there may be one in one year, in five years, in ten years. and so what you know today could actually end up being really helpful. it's just a matter of how much information there is and who is going to be able to tell you what toll doll with it. >> here's a line that jumped out at me from the article of the dilemma. in the case of genetic testing, there is little doubt that it will bring any blessings but will come at costs. describe some of the costs that if you had one of these >> well, the woman who is featured in the story, her name is lori hunter, and she's a mom and a high school english teacher in new jersey. so her daughter had some developmental problems and in trying to figure out what was going on with her daughter, she had very sophisticated dna tests that did not end up showing an answer for what was wrong with her daughter, but did end up
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showing that the daughter is missing seven genes, one of which makes this rare tumors much more likely. and then as a result of that, the mom found out that she carries the same genetic mutation. so, on one hand, it's great that they learned this. they can now screen. on the other hand, the mom is really ambivalent. she doesn't know if it's a good thing. ultimately, she thinks it is, but it has just made her -- it has taken her anxiety to a whole new level. >> can they do these tests on fetuses? >> they can. over the summer, there were two announcements, one from the university of washington and one from stanford, that they have performed fetal genome sequencing with a very high degree of success. and that is not something that is about to be rolled out, clinically, systemwide. but it's definitely something that is coming down the pike,
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and parents will really have to consider, this is something, do they want to know, all this information about their children, while also taking into consideration that a lot of the information they learn is not fully understood and only indicates risk. does not necessarily indicate that their child will get a disease. >> yeah, it's a powerful, powerful article. information our viewers need to know. the new cover story in "time" magazine. bonnie, thanks very much for writing it. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks so much, wolf. other stories we're following. unless you mute them, you should hear today's commercials at the same volume you hear me. that's because of a new rule that went into effect at midnight. no more excessively loud commercials allowed. cnn's sandra endo is here in "the situation room," taking a closer look at this new move. so what's going on here? is it working? >> well, that's a good question. and hopefully a lot of viewers at home are hoping that this will work, because it is a new law and it should be much less irritating when you watch tv.
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now that volume levels of commercials should match the programming. and everyone we spoke with knew exactly the problem we're talking about. watching your favorite tv show and it's bound to happen. >> a low price! >> i know! >> wee! we, wee, weeeee! >> reporter: now there should be no more need to adjust the volume. overly blaring commercials are against the law. >> the whole getting louder thing doesn't fly well with me. >> it's like somebody knocking on your door and just yelling at you, in between the shows, and then leaving. >> reporter: excessively loud tv ads have been one of the top consumer complaints to the fcc for decades. with the switch to digital tvs, the audio problems only became more prominent and more annoying. >> it makes me crazy, because i'm scrambling for which remote is going to turn the volume down. >> reporter: broadcast, cable, and satellite providers must now make sure tv commercials are aired at the same average volume as regular programming.
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california congresswoman ana eschew wrote the bill after a loud commercial interrupted a family get-together. >> i wrote a one-page bill and set out to get bipartisan cosponsors and before i could finish my sentence about doing something about these loud tv commercials, i didn't have anyone turn me down. >> reporter: using this sound meter, you can see the program and commercials are generally hitting the same level. in the past, some blaring commercials were twice as loud as the programs themselves. consumers can now complain to a tv station or an fcc hotline and the agency will be in charge of monitoring compliance. >> now if they could just get rid of all the erectile dysfunction commercials, that would be ideal. >> now, there are no specifics when it comes to how the fcc will enforce the new law, but regulators are trusting this will be a cooperative effort with the tv industry.
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>> i'm sure it will be. wolf? >> thanks very much, sandra endo reporting. police say they've uncovered a shocking murder-for-hire plot targeting the pop star justin bieber. you're going to find out how they tracked the suspects down. yo, give it up, dude!
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this computer-animated coffee tastes dreadful. geico. 15 minutes could save you 15 % or more on car insurance. someone get me a latte will ya, please? out for drinks, eats. i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. a lot of things going on in my life and the last thing i want to be thinking about is my dentures. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work
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to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. police are revealing details of an obsessed fan and his grausome alleged plot to kill justin bieber. mary snow reports. ♪ >> reporter: known around the world as a teen idol, justin bieber is referred to as victim three in a police affidavit, detailing a bizarre foiled plot, involving castration, kidnap, and murder. authorities say the man behind the plot is dana martin.
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police allege he directed two accomplices to target bieber and his bodyguard. the timing was to coincide with the bieber concert at new york city's madison square garden in late november. mr. martin indicated that their ultimate target was j.b., reads the affidavit. it says martin became infatuated with the pop singer, even getting a tattoo of him on his leg. mr. martin stated that he had attempted to solicit correspondents on numerous occasions between victim three and him and victim three never returned in kind. martin, according to the document, was seeking notoriety. cnn legal contributor, paul callan. >> pretty much vague talk about hurting somebody is not actionable. it's only a crime when you do something concrete in furtherance of the killing or the conspiracy. and law enforcement says that's what happened here. >> reporter: and what happened is that two men allegedly traveled from new mexico to
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vermont to carry out two murders. but according to police, the plot was foiled because of a missed highway exit, and the men wound up at the u.s./canada border crossing. officers discovered a warrant for 41-year-old mark stake and turned him over to state police for a probation violation. his 23-year-old nephew, tanner ruan was later arrested in upstate new york. police say they recovered pru pruning shears and documents linked to the crime in his car. just how much justin bieber knew about this is unclear. his representative would only say in a statement, we take every precaution to protect and ensure the safety of justin and his fans. >> now, the two suspects who were arrested in this conspiracy plot are both awaiting extradition to new mexico. both were assigned public defenders. we reached out to them for comment, but haven't yet gotten a response. wolf? >> what a story, mary, thank you. happening now, the president and the house speaker, they go
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face to face. is either man blinking in this fiscal cliff standoff? we now know the ambassador, susan rice won't be the next secretary of state. this hour, the big announcement and the new reaction. and a high-tech printer could be deadly. we're going to tell you how it may be able to make guns with a push of a button. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." there's a lot happening in the white house right now with huge implications for president obama's second term. the president is meeting with house speaker john boehner right now, a new bid to break their deadlock and avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. and they only have 19 days left. at the same time, the president's short list for secretary of state is even shorter right now, now that the ambassador susan rice has taken her name out of the running to replace hillary clinton. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin and our senior congressional
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correspondent, dana bash, they are both standing by. jessica, first to you on the obama/b obama/boehner meeting that's going on what are you hearing? >> the meeting began 50 minutes ago in the oval office, and the purpose of this 11th hour meeting is to see if they can find a breakthrough. to see if there is any way that they can reach a deal in the 11th hour, wolf. for the speaker, that would mean essentially if he can get more spending cuts from the president. if there is a way they can achieve entitlement reform and enough of a spending agreement that would make it worth the speaker's while and able to sell it to his base. for the president, it means, will the speaker give on tax rates, raising rates for the top 2%. the white house has maintain they will do more on spending, they will negotiate, but only if the speaker gives on rates. that is what these two men are working on. i'm told that staff was in the room, or at least was when the meeting began. we will see if they get anywhere
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with 19 days to go, wolf. >> the other bombshell news today from the white house, the u.n. ambassador, susan rice, dropping out for consideration to become the next secretary of state. walk us through what the white house is saying about this decision. >> reporter: well, the painful choice for both people, the president close to susan rice. she began working for him in 2008 as one of his campaign advisers on national security foreign policy issues, and somebody that he personally has wanted in that position and wanted to serve for him, but now she has withdrawn from consideration for secretary of state, after a series of republican senators raised serious concerns for comments she made in the wake of the benghazi attacks, that took four american lives. susan rice acknowledging that it would be a contentious and lengthy hearing, a confirmation process would be extremely difficult, and she broke this news to brian williams, the anchor of nbc's evening news and
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here's some of what she told him in that interview for "rock center". >> today i made the decision that it was the best thing for our country, for the american people, that i not continue to be considered by the president for nomination of secretary of state, because i didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting, and very disruptive. because there are so many things we need to get done, as a country. and the first several months of a second term president's agenda is really the opportunity to get the crucial things done. we're talking about comprehensive immigration reform, balanced deficit reduction, job creation. that's what matters. and to the extent that my nomination could have delayed or distracted or deflected, or maybe even some of these priorities been impossible to achieve, i didn't want that, and
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i would much prefer to continue doing what i'm doing, which is a job i love at the united nations. >> reporter: now, wolf, the president also released a statement saying, in part, while i deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on susan rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment, to put our national interests first. i should say, wolf, that you should not expect susan rice to leave the administration. i don't. first, she has not resigned from her post at the u.n., as u.s. ambassador, but there's also talks, sources tell me, of her taking on the role of the president's national security adviser here in the west wing, a post that does not require senate confirmation, where she can be highly political and it actually serves the president very well. so expect her to continue serving there. and if i can just bring you some updated news, the president's meeting with speaker boehner, i'm told, has broken up. i will bring you an update on
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what happened there as soon as i have it, wolf. >> we'll get back to you very soon. thanks very much, jessica, for that. susan rice clearly sounding as if, at least for now, she wants to stay on as the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, and if she can, she doesn't need to be confirmed once again for that position. now that susan rice is out of the running to become the secretary of state, senator john kerry seems to be a shoo-in to become the next secretary of state, seceding hillary clinton. let's bring in our congressional correspondent, dana bash. dana, what are they saying up on the hill about rice's announcement, and secondly about john kerry becoming secretary of state? >> reporter: well, about rice's announcement, there isn't a lot of surprise here. there really -- i talked to democrats and republicans who said, look, the fact of the matter is that her meetings a couple of weeks ago with, first of all, with her chief republican foes, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte, did not go well, but more importantly, the meeting she had with susan
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collins, the ranking member on the homeland security committee, that did not go well. and really, i'm told that she, susan collins, did not get answers to basic questions that she was trying to get from susan rice. so that certainly did not help susan rice. it seemed to poison the well for her even more than it was before. so there isn't a big surprise here. even democrats, again, who i talked to, say that she was incredibly competent. that she is very, very smart. but that there might be a personality issue that makes them reluctant to have her as the person representing the u.s. in the role of secretary of state. but they also say that just as jessica said, that she might be very well suited to be the president's national security adviser, because there isn't confirmation there, and it's more inherently political. to your answer about john kerry, there certainly is a lot of support for him here. there is a member of the senate club. he has been for years and years. he is currently the senate foreign relations chairman. and he has not really made it that much of a secret that he wants this job. has for years and years.
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and it's been really kind of awkward and uncomfortable, frankly, as there's been so much brouhaha over susan rice, questions about whether she can be secretary of state. meanwhile, he's a senator, he's the foreign relations chair, and we've had to question him in the hallway about susan rice, and it's been a little bit awkward, i have to tell you. but if he is nominated, he would likely sail through the confirmation process. republicans and democrats saying nice things about him. there's an ulterior motive, a little bit, i think for republicans, because it would also provide another open seat for them to try to get a democratic seat back in republican hands. >> dana, thanks very much. we're standing by. we're waiting to get some results from the white house, to see how that meeting with house speaker john boehner went with the president of the united states. those are the live pictures from the stakeout outside the west wing of the white house. we'll see if john boehner goes to the microphones there or if he slips out through the side door, goes into the debrriveway over there and leaves the white house to go back to capitol hill without a statement. as soon as we know what's going on, we will, of course, share that with you, our viewers.
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meanwhile, president obama has invited a key international player to come to the wlous. kate balduan is watching this part of the story for us. tell our viewers what's going on, kate? >> another very big story, wolf. the president plans to meet next month with afghan president, hamid karzai. leon panetta made the announcement during his own talks with president karzai today. the u.s. is expected to announce soon how many troops to leave in afghanistan after the planned withdrawal of forces in 2014. the country, of course, still struggling very much with terrorism. at least three people were killed when a suicide bomb exploded near the airfield in kandahar today, hours after secretary panetta left the city. the taliban are claiming responsibility for that. cnn's erin burnett is in afghanistan, where she had an exclusive interview with the secretary of defense, leon panetta. erin, what did the secretary say about the security situation there, especially in light of what happened right after he
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left. >> reporter: yeah, i mean, kate, it was pretty amazing. we were in kandahar today with the defense secretary, and it was about two hours after we left when this suicide bomber from the taliban struck at the entrance to the kandahar airfield, where we had been. the timing, as you say, very tough for the united states, which has been trying to say, look, we've been successful. we've made progress, we've made progress training afghan forces, we've made progress training the sources. general abrams told me, look, they specifically said they failed to attack the kandahar airfield. two hours later, they succeeded in doing so, even though it was just at the perimeter, which i think is important to mention. leon panetta was emphasizing some of the progress. he wants to try to tell a story if the united states has been more successful in training afghan soldiers, to try to take over when the u.s. leaves. but to your point about troop levels, there's an interesting delay here, and the defense secretary didn't really have a good answer for that. you know, it was several weeks ago, they said, look, we'll know in a couple weeks.
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when that time came, they said, we'll know if a few weeks. the defense secretary said, look, we've had several different scenarios we've provided to the president, but there's been no final plan. even when that's made, the crucial thing will be, indemnity. do troops get tried here or at home? that's crucial for the u.s., because no one is really sure whether this insurgency will become, again, a sanctuary for al qaeda. back to you guys. >> and, of course, the defense secretary wouldn't say that they're going to be completely, you know, removing their focus from afghanistan, but what did the secretary say about kind of where the next focus is in terms of outside of afghanistan and terror threats? >> reporter: well, kate, you know, he said he still thinks that al qaeda is the single biggest threat to the american homeland. so even after the longest war in american history, he still thinks that al qaeda is the number one threat. i thought that was important and perhaps a sobering reality for many americans listening to him. when i asked him where, he mentioned somalia, he mentioned
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yemen, and he mentioned mali. and mali has become, obviously, a north african country that's become what some say is now the biggest sanctuary for al qaeda. we, of course, were along the border there with rebels and refugees this summer and saw an al qaeda that was very much present and very much growing. the defense secretary said, when i asked him about whether the u.s. would intervene in mali, we're going to go wherever the hell they are, his words, and get al qaeda. so that's going to be a very big question for the united states, about what happens next, and whether the united states can be here in afghanistan, with 10,000 or 20,000 troops, and also dealing with yemen and somalia and perhaps some sort of operation in mali. back to you. >> mali also one of the poorest countries in the world. and i know you have taken great interest in that country as well. erin burnett, thank you so much for your great work. you can see more of erin's reporting from afghanistan and her exclusive interview with leon panetta on "erin burnett outfront," that is at 7:00 p.m. eastern, right here on cnn. >> she really is outfront
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tonight. looking forward to her interview. you may want to keep a close eye on your bank account. we're looking at a big attack potentially in the works. your money could be at risk. and a top republican tells me that it's for the best that susan rice has taken her name out of the running to become secretary of state. standby for the house intelligence committee chairman, mike rogers. ♪ (announcer) when subaru owners look in the mirror, they see more than themselves. so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event. get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. by the end of this, our fifth year, our total can reach almost 25 million dollars. it's a nice reflection on us all. now through january 2nd. you'll also care about our new offer.
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now your percent potentially at risk from a massive cyberattack, that apparently is in the works. >> yeah, internet security experts are warning of a plot to hack into some of america's biggest banks and steal money from customers. it could happen in a matter of months. brian todd has been looking into the story. brian, this is something that affects absolutely everyone. >> just about everyone, kate, wolf. the spring is the target for this attack. a prominent cybersecurity firm says the attack is being planned, has already been tested out. it's likely coming from eastern
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europe, has the code name project blitzkrieg and is being led by a very mysterious russian hacker, and it's so subtle, if you're targeted, you may not realize it at first. you're a regular online banking customer, someone with a substantial amount of money in your account. you logon one day, have less money in the account than before, maybe a small enough money that you don't even notice that it's gone, but you've been hacked. that could happen to thousands of americans this coming spring. a new report by a top digital security firm says some of america's biggest banks, 30 of them, are at risk of a massive cyberattack next spring, that could siphon millions of dollars from unsuspecting customers. >> name of the project is project blitzkrieg, and we found to date, somewhere between 300 and 500 devices that have been infected within the u.s. >> reporter: pat calhoun is senior vp and general manager of the anti-virus software firm, mcafee, which issued the new report. it backs up a similar report a
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few months ago. mcafee won't name the individual banks, but we know that account holders in many of america's large, mainstream banks are targeted. mcafee says this attack is from a cybergang, led by a mysterious russian hacker with the handle vorvzakone. >> he's trying to build an army of hackers to expand the scope of the project. but how he's actually executing the project itself is that he has computers that are basically monitoring and controlling all of these infected devices. >> reporter: calhoun says the hackers are going after individuals who have a lot of money, are limiting the number of targets, and are only planning to take fractions of cash from each account, so that the account holders and the banks themselves may not even notice it at first. how are they getting in? calhoun says they start either with a phishing scam. you get an e-mail with an attachment, click on the attachment, and the malware affects your computer or it's downloaded by a malicious website. then the computer is controlled by servers operated by the hackers. when a user connects to his or
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her bank, the hackers can monitor the account, including the password. then they access the money and transfer it out, but if you get targeted, are you on the hook for the money stolen? doug johnson of the american banker's association says, if you monitor your account, keep in close touch with your bank. >> because you've alerted the bank that, as we suggested, that the transaction was unauthorized. essentially, the bank will reimburse you after they've investigated and confirmed that. >> for some, it may be too late. the attacks have already started on u.s. targets, calhoun says. have actually been going on sporadically for about four years, but he says about $5 million have already been stolen from some victims. but the major attack originating in eastern europe is expected next spring. >> and the cybersecurity firm won't name the banks, but you know the banks. >> we called all the major banks that may be affected by this, none of them would respond,
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except for one. wells fargo says it is watching for this threat, it's safeguarding its customer's information. also, department of homeland security, which takes the lead for security takes the lead. >> if you don't do online banking, you still vulnerable? >> you may be. it's a little unclear. everyone that has money a major account could be vulnerable. >> even in the bank? >> yeah. >> serious stuff. thank you. the american technology pioneer john mcafee is back in the united states. he's talking to cnn. just ahead, how he says he avoided deportation to belize, where police want to talk to him about a murt. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and...
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senator john kerry now considered the all but certain next nominee to become secretary of state. moments ago, he was seen leaving his office up on capitol hill. we've got some videotape of an exchange he had with reporters. >> i put out a statement and i think it's pretty comprehensive and explanatory. i would like you to use the statement. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. >> he was asked some other questions. claerl he doesn't want to talk about all the speculation out there, that the president will nominate him to secede hillary clinton as secretary of state, especially now that susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations has withdrawn her name from consideration. much more on that story coming up later. meanwhile, the computer security pioneer john mcafee is back here in the united states and he's changed his story once again. let's go back to kate. she's got that and some of the day's other top stories. >> this story was wild to begin with and continues to get even stranger, wolf. mcafee now says he faked a heart
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attack while detained in guatemala. he fled to that country after spending several weeks in hiding in belize, where police want to question mcafee about last month's shooting death of his neighbor. the guatemalans ended up sending mcafee to miami, where he told his story to reporters. >> the heart issue, was that a ruse? >> of course it was a ruse. what happened, as soon as i got off the plane, the president of guatemala said, we want him back here. if nothing happened, i would have been returned back to belize that moment. i guess the pressure gave me a heart attack and then when i got back, i got well. >> mcafee denies any wrongdoing in his neighbor's death and he's the founder of the security firm mentioned in brian todd's piece that we ran a short time ago. he is no longer affiliated with the firm, but a very interesting twist there. take a close look at this affiliate, from affiliate wbrz
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in gonzalez, arkansas. it was taken when a tornado struck the town earlier this week. it show what appears to be a pickup truck being thrown through the air. witnesses say a small truck was lifted several feet in the air by the twister. that's what they say they saw. amtrak today announced plans to replace its 20 existing express trains with new equipment. officials say the new railroad cars will have more seating capacity and permit higher speeds along the corridor connecting washington, new york city, and boston. that's much-welcome news for many people, who are, i bet, very often. and finally, yale is out with its annual list of the most n e notes from the year. quotes from the campaign dominate the list, including romney's 47% comment at number one, other notable quotes include romney's "binders full of women," and also president obama's, if you've got a business, "you didn't build that" comment. and also the retort about "horses and bayonets." and of course, "gangnam style"
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also made the list. it reminds must have of how quotable this presidential campaign was. >> gangnam style not exactly from the presidential campaign. >> i guess i should clarify, gangnam style not from the presidential campaign. all the others were. >> correct. the chairman of the house intelligence committee is weighing in on susan rice's bombshell announcement. by the way, we've just been told susan rice will meet with the president of the united states tomorrow at the white house. we're going to try to figure out what's going on here, is the president going to offer her another job? will the president ask her to stay on as the united states ambassador to the united nations? susan rice will be in washington tomorrow for a meeting with the president of the united states. as you know, she withdrew her name from consideration to become secretary of state today. the president reluctantly agreed to her request. we'll have much more, right after this. y life. you won't take our future. aids affects us all. even babies. chevron is working to stop mother-to-child transmission. our employees and their families are part of the fight. and we're winning.
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chairman, mike rogers. a teenager dodges sniper fire to save a woman she's never met. exclusive video of a daring and dangerous rescue attempt. and it can be made, three models, possibly resulting in real guns. new concerns that 3-d printers have a dangerous side. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." more now on today's dramatic white house announcement that president obama has accepted u.n. ambassador susan rice's request not to be considered for secretary of state. just a little while ago, i asked the house intelligence committee chairman, mike rogers, what he thinks of race's decision. >> i think it was probably for the best. i think ambassador rice was facing an uphill battle in the senate, for any confirmation that she may have received for secretary of state, and i think it would have distracted from the issues of north korea and
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what's going on there and syria and the chemical weapons and an opposition we don't fully understand. we have a growing al qaeda threat in libya, so when you look at all those challenges and all the challenges the secretary of state is going to face, this would have been horrifically distracting from those issues, because i think there are a lot of senators who were concerned about her statements and her positions when it came in the benghazi aftermath. >> as chairman of the intelligence committee, you're privy to the most sensitive information out there. are you confident you now know everything you need to know about what happened in benghazi? >> i think we're getting a better picture every day. we had another closed hearing today on the intelligence committee to try to see, days after benghazi. and it's going to take some time to go through all the information. i have -- i feel very strongly, wolf, that there was a gross negligence when it came to the physical security of the ambassador at the mission there
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in benghazi. that was very clear to me, some very, very bad decisions were made and i think contributed to the death of the ambassador and three other great americans. so that part, i think, is taking great shape. i think the intelligence part is coming together. it sounds to me, or looks to me when i review everything, it looked pretty good leading into the day, and then the days after. and i think it's clear that there was some political interpretation of the intelligence in the days after. we still have more questions, the investigation is still underway by the fbi, and now we need to focus, and what we were trying to do today, wolf, is focus on getting the people responsible and holding them accountable for their actions, that killed and took the lives of four americans. >> you're talking about the al qaeda affiliate organization that may have been responsible for the death of these four americans, including the ambassador chris stevens. but when you say there was gloss negligence, that suggests that there were american officials
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who should have known better, should have had better security for the ambassador and his colleagues, and they were negligent. do we know who these individuals who were negligent are? >> well, that picture is much clearer today than it was even a short time ago. >> can you tell us who they are? >> i think that's best to wait until all the details are assembled and a report will be issued. but i will tell you, wolf, when you look at all of the information, information leading up on the day and the days after, it was very, very clear that there was a serious security threat there, and the state department just did not make the right decisions to secure the ambassador himself. and there's all kinds of evidence, of all sorts leading up to that conclusion. and there will be, i'm sure, a report soon. and i think, again, on the ambassador rice thing, i think all of that would have been rehashed in the senate, and i think that was probably not helpful to the real issues that we're facing today, which is north korea, syria, growing al qaeda in libya, all of those
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issues. >> well, let's get to syria for a moment, while i have you. how secure are those chemical warfare stockpiles in syria right now? do you believe that the president, bashar al assad, will use chemical warfare against his own people? >> well, you know, his father, there's at least lots of reporting that his father, did, in fact, use chemical weapons or something very close to it, in his suppression of the population. we know that he has made it available, meaning that in some of these chemical weapons, there are certain procedures you have to go through, to make them a viable weapon. i believe that that's happened. i believe that they are available for use on a very short notice. now, you have the desperation of a dictator who is facing his ending days of his regime, who is, i believe, has made these chemical weapons out of his stockpile available for use. i don't know, and we know his father used it, it would be
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irresponsible, i think of the international community to lead in and say, well, we don't think he's going to use them. the modeling on this, wolf, is not good. i mean, it could be hundreds of thousands of dead, millions who would be impacted by it, and refugee problems all across the la vont and in the middle east that would be staggering and destabilizing to that whole region of the world. so this is, i mean, as serious as it gets, and this is not a decision i argue we should get wrong. we need to come together very soon, and we have unique capabilities to intervene in this use of these chemical weapons. and if we have that level of confidence, that he is in that position, we need to take serious consideration of maybe doing that. >> you know, you think about the use of chemical weapons. i assume you're talking about when his father slaughtered syrians in the early 1980s. do you have information he used chemical weapons to kill those syrians at that time?
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>> there are mixed reports and there have been some forensic issues taken there that would lead one to believe that chemical weapons could have been used. and i'll tell you one thing. in the middle east, our liaison partners across the middle east passionately believe those were chemical weapons that were used. so there is lots of belief that it was, and, again, now you have his son, who certainly grew up with all of that, you just -- in addition to the fact, wolf, that he's taken an affirmative action to put those weapons available for use, those are all very concerning steps. and i think we've got to be prudent about making sure we don't have a catastrophic humanitarian crisis with the use of these chemical weapons. i worry about what that means for humanity in general, let alone the people of syria, who one killed and maimed in a horrific way. and then all of the refugees and all the problems that would cause an instability in that
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region is, as i said, as a serious a problem as i can imagine, in what is already a serious humanitarian crisis. >> we're out of time, congressman. one final question. looking back now, 2007, when the israelis took out that nuclear reactor in syria, that north korea was building for them, imagine what the situation in syria would be like, right now, if there were nuclear weapons, involved in what's going on. chemical weapons are bad enough. nuclear weapons potentially could be even worse. have you considered that situation in 2007, when the israelis did what they did? >> listen, we look at that with iran, with north korea, with south korea. we look at these regimes who are not rational in their decisions and it's terrifying to believe that iran could get that capability, north korea could get that capability, and syria almost had that capability. they were well underway to get it themselves. it was concerning. it's why those guys like me stay
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awake a lot of nights, trying to figure out how we work our way through these issues. they're serious. and they can cause huge international stability and huge humanitarian crises with their use. >> congressman, mr. chairman, thanks very much joining us, as usual. >> thank you so much for having me, wolf. dramatic moments in syria's deadly civil war. we'll go to one of the country's rallies. he doesn't even know. also, this just coming in, john boehner, the speaker of the house, he's now back on capitol hill. you see pictures there. he has just come back from the white house, from the west wing. let's see what he says. >> are you staying in town, mr. speaker? >> asking if you're ready to go home tomorrow? i didn't hear exactly what he said. we'll cue that up and report. >> he has a firm policy of never answering questions. >> he didn't answer the question. so we don't know if he's staying in washington, going home for
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the weekend. we don't know what happened in his one hour or so meeting with the president over at the white house. but you know what, we're going to try to find out and bring it to you as soon as we can. look in the mirror,ners they see more than themselves. so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event. get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. by the end of this, our fifth year, our total can reach almost 25 million dollars. it's a nice reflection on us all. now through january 2nd.
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in syria's bloody civil war, there are many tragedies, of course. but there are also acts of courage. cnn's arwa damon was given video of a dramatic rescue attempt while she was in syria. here's her exclusive and gripping report. >> reporter: a fighter slithers across the street. his body hugging the cold pavement. yards away, a woman lies, motionless. she's been shot by a sniper. her rescuer is not a relative,
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nor a neighbor. he's never met her. he is just 17. he knew he had to save the woman or die trying. when we met him later, he tells us -- we had a feeling that she was still alive. we wanted to save her, to get her to a hospital. as he crawls closer, he can see her hand, her fingers shaking. cover him, cover him! someone shouts. other fighters lay down cover fire. abdullah quickly ties the hose to her leg, but she's unable to retreat. i said to myself, if i die, it's
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god's will that i die next to this woman, he tells us. finally, he makes a run for it, and the rebels drag the woman back. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: the woman and her son were walking right down this street. there rebel fighters shouted at them to stay away, but it was too late. aleppo is crisscrossed with similar sniper allies. some are known, but others do not reveal themselves until the first shot has been fired. despite his efforts, the woman
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dies. her son utter ly distraught. don't die now. don't die today, he pleads. answer me, mom. answer me. she's not dead, she's not dead, he says, as he collapses. abdullah is left wondering whether her life could have been saved if he'd reached her sooner. until recently, he worked at a bakery. now, like thousands of young syrians, he puts his life on the line. i am not a hero. i am just like anyone else, abdullah tells us. and we're left to wonder, how many similar acts of courage go unrecorded every day in syria, and how many innocents are loss? arwa damon, cnn, aleppo. >> so tough. our arwa damon has brought us some extraordinarily, truly
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extraordinary reporting, as one of the very few western journalists to get inside the syrian war zone. and this is just another example of her great work, wolf? >> she risks her life every single day to bring us these reports. >> amazing reports. >> and we're very proud of her, and thankfully, she's okay. >> yeah, yeah. we're just getting this in, a readout on the president's meeting with the speaker of the house, for the fiscal cliff. the president and the speaker had a frank meeting in the oval office tonight. it lasted approximately 15 minutes. there will be no further readout of the meeting, but lines of communication remain open. so that's it. that's all we're getting, at least for now. although i suspect there will be leaks coming out fairly soon. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china,
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imagine if you could bill your own gun as easily as you could copy a document. >> yeah, it sounds like something in the movies. and it gets even scarier, because these would-be weapons might slip past metal detectors. our crime and justice correspondent, joe johns, explains. >> reporter: at this northern virginia gun store, you can buy all sorts of weapons. but what if you can make weapons like these in your own home, using what's called a three-dimensional printer? sounds like science fiction, but to some, it's not so far fetched. take this recent episode of csi. >> primarily, 3-d printers are used to manufacture parts for antique cars. >> and you think our killer printed a gun? >> multiple guns. identical, disposable, untraceable. >> reporter: and it could also be undetectable. 3-d printers like this make solid objects from digital models and plans. and what's manufactured could be all plastic, like this little gadget with all these moving
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parts that work together perfectly. so a plastic gun manufactured with this technology might not necessarily be picked up by your garden variety metal detector at an airport or public building. it's a potential game changer in the gun control debate. >> we're trying to produce guns with this technology. >> advocates of the so-called printable gun, lake university of texas student, cody wilson, see it as a rights issue. >> i believe, if i want to show you, as far as it's possible for me that this thing will be completely unable to be regulated. >> reporter: he's behind defense distributed, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating what wilson called the wiki weapon, a firearm with a design that can be distributed on the internet and manufactured using a 3-d printer. he's already built part of an ar-15 using the technology. democratic congressman steve israel has taken notice. >> i just want to make it impossible for people to use three-dimensional printers, to
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manufacture gun components, which was done, and six bullets were fired from these component. >> reporter: that's why congressman israel is pushing to renew the undetectable firearms act, which will expire next year. >> it just defies common sense, safety, and logic to make it easier for terrorists and criminals to manufacture the components of gun, which can be brought on to our airplanes and into our federal buildings. >> the national rifle association says it views this legislation as unnecessary. pro-gun advocates say, to date, no one using a 3-d printer has manufactured a working firearm, completely out of plastic. one 3-d printing expert says it might not even be possible anytime soon. >> i don't feel like this technology is going to be there next year, but in my estimation, we have some time and ways to go to get there. >> reporter: and wilson worries about the chilling effect on new ideas. >> what does mr. israel say? well, we should prevent the development of a whole branch of technology.
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well, that's ridiculous. >> the other issue here is whether an attempt to stop people from making plastic guns could turn into an attempt by government to regulate use of 3-d printers, potentially raising a question of censorship. congressman israel's office says he is not proposing anything that would regulate the printers themselves. fascinating story. >> i had no idea. >> fascinating. joe johns, thank you so much. still ahead, see what happens when music legend stevie wonder surprises a young singer who idolizes him. ♪ because chevy's giving more. more efficiency with sonic and cruze... more function in equinox and traverse... more dependability with the legendary silverado... and more style in the all-new malibu. chevy's giving more at the year-end event because 'tis the season. chevy's giving more. this holiday season, get a 2013 cruze ls for around $149 per month or get $500 holiday bonus cash. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card,
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different park service units across the united states. the only time i've ever had a break is when i was on maternity leave. i have retired from doing this one thing that i loved. now, i'm going to be able to have the time to explore something different. it's like another chapter.
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an aspiring teen artist may have gotten the surprise of a lifetime. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: he's a 14-year-old up and coming singer.
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♪ and when asan watts' record management told him to come to l.a. and record a stevie wonder song, he didn't wonder. ♪ he just did it. and walked with his eyes closed right into the mother of all pranks, if having your idol suddenly materialize as you're singing his song can be called a prank. ♪ >> asan, how you doing? >> pinch me. pinch me. >> pinched you. >> can i have a hug? >> what's up? >> but even after the hug, it can't hurt to double check. this is steve y stevie wonder.
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>> sometimes. >> reporter: i was waiting for you to ask to see his license. it turns out an exec had begged stevie wonder's manager to listen to asan's records. after listening, stevie agreed to show up and surprise the kid. >> i was just mind employee. and then stevie played while asan sang. imagine your idol's voice joining yours. but it turns out this wasn't the first time that stevie wonder has done this. ♪ isn't she lovely >> oprah calls it one of her favorite moments. star search champion, jake simpson was belting out stevie's song blissfully unaware that oprah's staff had arranged for a surprise guest. ♪ isn't she pretty ♪ oh, my god! >> eventually, they

tv
The Situation Room
CNN December 13, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Susan Rice 52, Syria 26, John Kerry 23, Us 23, Benghazi 22, U.s. 21, Clinton 12, Belize 11, United States 10, North Korea 9, Washington 9, Cnn 9, John Boehner 8, United Nations 8, Mccain 8, Dana 7, America 7, U.n. 6, Afghanistan 6, Lindsey Graham 6
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